Improving the Health of Vulnerable Children

It is common knowledge that poor health adversely affects a child’s overall development and increases school absenteeism. Clearly, ongoing education of both parents and children on hygiene, nutrition and infectious disease prevention is sorely needed in rural areas.

In 2012, GlaxoSmithKline selected OvidiuRo to represent Romania in a regional Roma Health Initiative.

Starting 2012, three “Together for Better Health” grants, amounting € 400,000, helped OvidiuRo to provide:

  • medicine, vitamins, fruit & hygiene products,
  • health education to parents and children, and
  • diagnostic services through periodic medical caravans.

The three grants (2012 – 2014, 2015 – 2017, and 2018 – 2020) allowed OvidiuRo to include the Education for Health component in each of the projects developed along the years (including a hygiene kit for kindergartens).


Starting September 2018, as part of OvidiuRo’s health project supported annually by GlaxoSmithKline, over 600 children and around 300 adults in some of the poorest villages in Constanța, Satu Mare, Vaslui, Iași, and Covasna were offered free consultations and medical prescriptions in their villages. During five Medical Caravans, tens of medical students, residents, and specialists offered examinations in pediatrics, dentistry, ophthalmology, radiology, dermatology, echography, and gynecology.
Four of the Caravans were organized in partnership with Caravana cu Medici (Medical Doctors’ Caravan), a Romanian NGO implementing prevention programs in rural areas, and the Caravan in Covasna – in partnership with Die Johanniter, a voluntary humanitarian organization in Germany.
Also, in July and August, around 500 kindergartens participating in the 2019 Sotron Summer Programs got a hygiene kit for children and teachers to use during the 2-week project.



As part of the GSK health project, OvidiuRo entered a collaboration with medical students from the “Together for Rural Health” in which doctors and final year medical students from Carol Davila University of Medicine visited isolated villages to offer free consultations and medical prescriptions.
Between 2012 and 2017 twelve medical caravans resulted in examinations for over 2600 people, with those in need receiving treatment or referrals to specialists. Over 600 medical students, residents and specialists have participated in the caravan, offering examinations in cardiology, pediatrics, ophthalmology, dermatology, and echography, and concluding that few children or adults in poor communities had ever had a routine medical check-up before the Medical Caravan. The most prevalent problems identified from the caravans were respiratory infections, anemia, intestinal parasites, skin infections, and pneumonia.

washing hands & teeth

  • Over 3,000 “hand washing” and “tooth brushing” posters were distributed to kindergartens during Read Aloud Caravans.
  • 180 communities received hygiene kits containing hand soap, paper towels, toilet paper, antibacterial hand gel, and cleaning products).
  • 26,000 children participated in health activities as part of OvidiuRo’s two-week summer educational module.
  • 22,000 children, parents & teachers participated in the GSK’s PHASE project (“personal hygiene & sanitary education” activities).

Medical Caravans photo gallery: